Main points of infant formula legislation in India

March 15, 2012 by LISA Infant Milk

Indian pharmacies

India protects breastfeeding

On the subject of communication over infant formula, India has one of the most stringent legislations in the world. Advertising, giving gifts and free samples, promoting infant formulas toward doctors and health professionals, picturing mother or baby on labels, the sponsorship of events by infant formula firms, donation of educational material on such products, is simply prohibited.

 

Relevant rules and standards

Infant milk products in India fall under the requirements of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Their formulations must comply with the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act & Rules (1.10.2004). Their production, supply and distribution are regulated by The Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, 1992 as Amended in 2003 (IMS Act).

The customs code applying is 19011000-00. The conditions of their importation are specified in Section 1, Chapter 4 of the dedicated text of law.

Complex composition of an infant milk powder formulaFormulation requirements

The strictness of Indian requirements in infant milk substitute formulation reaches approximately the level of international standards.

The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act & Rules defines Infant Formula as being the product prepared by spray drying or roller drying of the milk of cow or buffalo or a mixture thereof. The milk may be modified by the partial removal/ substitution of milk fat with vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and/or by different milk solids; carbohydrates such as sucrose, dextrose and dextrins, maltose and lactose; salts such as phosphates and citrates; vitamins A, D, E, B and C group and other vitamins; minerals such as iron, copper, zinc and iodine and others. Il shall be free from added starch, added colour and added flavor. 

The FSSAI has defined maximum and minimum levels (as per cent by weight) of about 30 ingredients and 7 bacteria in infant formula.

Prohibiting any form of promotion for infant milk substitutes

India protects breastfeeding : national standards for breastfeeding protection are the highest in the world, from our experience. As a matter of fact, the IMS Act 2003 prohibits :

  - Advertising

  - Gifts and free samples

  - Promotion of products for babies under two years of age

  Indian Pharmacies- Use of healthcare system, by any means

  - Picture of mother or baby on labels

  - Sponsorship, gifts to health care workers or their associations

  - Donation or distribution of informational or educational material.

High tariff barriers for baby milk

A 30% duty rate shall be applied to infant milk imported from France. Despite the free trade agreement to be signed in 2012 between India and the European Union, this duty rate is not expected to decrease.

Comment by BOURGEOIS ERIC

May 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Thank's to add your comments concerning India health Market to my mailbox

Comment by Bidisha

July 3, 2012 at 06:15 PM

Hi, does the 30% duty rate on infant formula just apply to commercial sales of the milk? Would it apply if an individual wanted to take say 4 months worth of formula to India for personal use?

Comment by Ravindra

July 7, 2012 at 08:39 PM

Hi, Would it apply if an individual wanted to take say 4 months worth of formula to India for personal use from uk for a 4month old baby?

Comment by Eric Bourgeois

February 25, 2013 at 03:49 PM

A 30% duty rate shall be applied to infant milk imported from France. Despite the free trade agreement to be signed in 2012 between India and the European Union, this duty rate is not expected to decrease.

So ; where is the problem ? could we have some more precise information on the non application of the free trade agreement ?

Comment by preethi

May 1, 2013 at 03:28 PM

are infant formulas in india iron fortified.please let me know